Reading/Interest Level: Preschool, Primary
Author: Karma Wilson
Illustrator: Jane Chapman
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Bear wants to make a feast for his friends, but when he discovers that his cupboards are bare, he doesn’t know what to do. But soon Mouse stops by with a tasty little treat, followed by Hare with muffins, Badger with fish, and all the rest of Bear’s pals with other platters of scrumptious food. Bear says “Thanks!” every time but then gets disappointed that he has nothing to share with them in return. But the other animals aren’t worried about it—they’re just grateful that he’s their friend. The group settles down to a delicious feast and enjoy friendly conversations with lots of laughter, love, and (of course) gratitude.
Like other Bear Books in this series, this book has bright and cheerful illustrations that will interest and delight both young and old readers. The message is clearly one about gratitude and friendship, and many find it to be a fitting book for Thanksgiving to teach children the importance of those principles. The rhyming and rhythm of the text is a little awkward in places, but the resounding line, “And the bear says, ‘Thanks!’” stands out as the most important part and is very well-designed in the book. This book will mostly appeal to those who are fans of the Bear Books in general, but even first-time readers will enjoy this simple read with its lovable characters and glad message.